Fixed Layout EPUB is now a viable alternative to DPS SE apps.
EPUB has been around as an official standard for years, but it’s not a format I ever got overly excited about. While I readily admit to being a geek, cracking open EPUBs to edit what is arguably some of the worst HTML and CSS I’ve ever seen wasn’t something I really wanted to spend my time doing. Add to the fact that just as EPUB was gaining steam, DPS came along in 2010 and my focus moved in that direction. I really haven’t looked back…until now.
When Adobe launched InDesign CC2014 they added fixed layout EPUB as one of the formats it was capable of exporting to. It was a nice start but it was a very static format and wasn’t really capable of much in the way of interactivity especially when compared to DPS. Fast forward a few months to the release of InDesign CC2014.1 (hey, I didn’t come up with this naming convention) and I think FXL EPUB is finally ready for prime time. The support of interactive features like MSOs, buttons, web content, and animations (something DPS still can’t do) while maintaining the layout makes it a viable choice for publishing rich, interactive content.
The support of interactive features like MSOs, buttons, web content, and animations (something DPS still can’t do) while maintaining the layout makes it a viable choice for publishing rich, interactive content.
Let’s think back for a moment to the days of Creative Suite. Every 12 to 24 months, depending up the release, Adobe would announce and ship new versions of its creative software. It was left to the users to decide if they wanted to buy the upgrade or not and when. In 2012 Adobe announced Creative Cloud while simultaneously continuing the sale of Creative Suite on a perpetually licensed basis. After what amounted to a one year experiment, a decision was made to move to a subscription only plan. Part of the promise of that plan was faster rollout of new features and the inclusion of new versions of the applications all at a set monthly price.
For the past year, Adobe has kept the promise of new features, steadily rolling out improvements, and on June 18, they will be webcasting the announcement of their newest release of Creative Cloud. That’s right, all new versions of your favorite Adobe applications such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Muse. The reason for this post is to alert you to the fact that this coming and to explain the difference between this and the past Creative Cloud updates.
In a webcast scheduled for June 18, Adobe will be revealing the next generation of Creative Cloud.
Creating a slideshow using InDesign for a Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) folio is done using multi state objects (MSOs). One of the choices in the folio overlays panel for slideshows is to Hide Before Playing. At first glance this would be of good use when you don’t want your content to show. But once the slideshow is played, there’s no way to hide it again. So, what to do when you want to be able to not only show content in a slideshow but also hide it?
The answer is actually quite simple. Because each state in an MSO can contain just about anything, we’re going to add a state to our MSO that to your reader, looks like nothing. Let’s see how it’s done.
I’m proud to announce that my first lynda.com course is now live. The title, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, is Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Essential Training. If you’re just starting out with, or if you just want to get an overview of DPS and how it works with InDesign and other Creative Cloud applications such as Muse and Edge Animate, this course is for you. While I cover some of the back end information, this course, at its core, is an overview of how to create and work with interactive overlays. I tried to throw a tip or two in each lesson and hope you’ll find it a good starting point with DPS.
The latest version of Edge Animate was released recently and one of the new features was the ability to save with a transparent poster image. That was a great addition but when I tried to place the OAM file in InDesign and tested it out, I still had a black background.
I did a bit of digging and found out the transparent background only works on PNG and JPG articles. I always use PDF format for folios so rasterizing everything was not something I wanted to do. Then I remembered a post on the User to User forums a while back with a great tip on how to get this working on PDF folios.
Love it or hate it, Creative Cloud is not going away. It’s time to deal with it.
It’s been more than six months since Adobe announced that it was going to a subscription-only business model for its Creative Suite applications while rebranding them under the Creative Cloud name. Today, there’s still a very vocal group of people blasting Adobe for that decision. I’ve had a few debates (okay, more than a few) about the topic and I’m using this post to spell out why I believe that those waiting for Adobe to back down and offer perpetual licenses will not get what they want. The post isn’t so much about defending Adobe—though I do think they have a right to run their business any way they see fit—but to explain why I think they moved to this business model and why it won’t be reversed.
The idea for this post started when I was asked why I’m fighting those that are against Adobe and Creative Cloud. The fact is, I’m not fighting anyone or anything; I’m just looking at the reality of the situation and the current climate in the software industry. More choices would, in theory, be better. But in practice those choices would cost Adobe millions of dollars. Two licensing models and thousands of SKUs for suites and individual products doesn’t come cheap and it most certainly doesn’t carry with it a guarantee of any return on that investment.
In September Adobe announced a special loyalty offer for Photoshop CS3 and later customers. The offer combined Photoshop and Lightroom along with a few other goodies such as online storage and a Behance Pro website for $9.99/month. Many professional photographers jumped on this but it left academic license owners and suite owners feeling left out in the cold.
Adobe has extended its Photoshop/Lightoom offer to all users from now until 9:00AM PST on December 2.
Many of you spoke loudly and clearly and Adobe has responded by opening this program up to everyone for a very limited time. Beginning today and lasting until December 2, there is no eligibility requirement at all to take advantage of this offer.
Update on December 6. It looks like this offer has been extended to December 31
Scrollable frames in Digital Publishing Suite is one of my favorite features. In addition to being able to stuff two pounds of potatoes into a one pound sack, it adds to the interactivity giving the user a more engaging experience. Of course like everything else in InDesign and DPS, they’re not without their limitations. I’ve put together a list of quick tips to help you use them successfully.
Add a text frame inset on the bottom and top of any autofit frame to avoid having descenders and ascenders cut off. I’ve found 5-8 pixel is usually enough.
Ever since Adobe announced its new subscription only policy in May one of the most vocal groups has been photographers. Almost immediately, Adobe began to promise to look for solutions for this group. This was met with a large degree of skepticism but it’s now official, as announced at Photoshop World 2013, Adobe has put together a special Creative Cloud package aimed squarely at Photographers.
Along with some other goodies, Adobe has put together a difficult to resist Creative Cloud offering for photographers featuring Lightroom and Photoshop.
It’s back to school time and Adobe isn’t being left behind on special offers for students and teachers. Until the end of October, eligible students and teachers can get the first year of Creative Cloud for only $19.99/month. That’s a savings of 33% over the regular academic priceand a 60% savings over the commercial price.
As I’ve pointed out in the past this is, in my opinion, and fantastic deal for anyone eligible for it. In the scheme of things, especially for students, comparing this to other costs is just a blip on the radar. Cell phones, text books, tuition and even a couple of trips to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts will be more than this.
This deal does require a one year commitment but it allows for commercial work so a student or teacher could, in addition to learning the applications, use them to earn a few bucks.